Dolphins @ Patriots REPORT CARD

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    Dolphins @ Patriots REPORT CARD

         Sorry this is late...but I'm still experiencing difficulties posting. When I contacted Boston.com, I was told that they were aware of the problem, and were taking steps to fix it. This led me to wonder whether the folks setting up this "system" are the same people who set up the Obamacare web cite...LOL!!!

         Wow...another great weekend for Boston sports fans! The DH-less Red Sox go to St. Louis and take two out of three to gain a 3-2 WS advantage, as the teams head back to our beloved Fenway Park. Coupled with the Patriots come from behind 27-17 win over Miami , and you have a weekend similar to that of two weekends ago, when the Patriots came from behind to defeat the then unbeaten Saints...and the Red Sox avoided disaster thanks to a Big Papi grand slam, in tying up their ALCS series, with the Detroit Tigers.

         Folks, it's difficult to assign grades to the Patriots when they are terrible for half the game, but play well in the other half. So...with the expectation that they'll be plenty of disagreements, here are my grades:

    I. OFFENSE: This group was horrible in the first half...as bad as their second half stink bombs that we've seen in Cincinnati, and in NY. Still, if not for a couple of defensive take-aways and a couple of favorable calls from the usually hostile refs, the second half might not have been much of an improvement.

    1.) QB: No...Tom Brady skills are not deteriorating due to old age. His accuracy is clearly being impacted by a badly swollen passing hand. With BB in charge and Tom not even acknowledging the obvious injury, one has to wonder just how bad it is. Is he playing though a broken finger? Did he fracture a knuckle or something? In the land of Brady and BB, we'll never know. Folks, Tom threw for 25 yards in the first half!! His first pass of the game to Rob Gronkowski was poorly thrown to Gronk's inside shoulder, and was intercepted. Subsequent to the play, Brady was shown flexing his passing hand, and keeping it warm inside the pouch of his jersey. For the game, Tom finished with just 116 yards passing, completing just 13 0f 22 passes. Still, Brady has his moments. There was that beautiful 14 yard TD pass to Aaron Dobson, Which Tom completed despite having a LB in his grill, a 30 yard TD laser to Gronk, which was nullified due to a Nate Solder holding penalty...and a clutch 8 yard "Crazy Legs" Hirsch-like scramble on a 4th and 4 in the 4th quarter, which kept the Pats' final TD drive alive. Let's hope that Tom's hand injury is something that will heal very soon. I give Tom an "A" for his toughness and grit. But, his overall play merits only a generous: GRADE: C;

    2.) RBs: Did well when called upon and when given some running room, particularly in the second half. Stevan Ridley ran hard and hit the available holes  decisively, finishing with 79 yards on 14 carries, and a TD (a 5.6 yard average per carry). LeGarrette Blount bulled for 46 yards on 11 carries, while Brandon Bolden chipped in with 22 yards on 8 carries, and a TD. None of the RBs were factors in the passing game. All must do a better job regarding blitz pick-ups: GRADE: B;

    3.) OL: This group continued to underachieve, particularly in the first half. The usually reliable Nate Solder and Logan Mankins were beaten for sacks, and Ryan Wendell is still having problems holding up in pass protection. But, in the second half, the Big Uglies got after the Miami front seven, and began to open up running lanes for Stevan Ridley and Blount. Unfortunately, RT Sebastien Vollmer was lost for the season due to having suffered a broken leg. We wish him the best, and a full recovery: GRADE: C;

    4.) TEs and WRs: Gronk and "The Hoo-man" did a good job of blocking on running plays. But, the Dolphins doubled and even triple-teamed Gronk throughout the game, in an effort to take away Tom Brady's best and favorite weapon. Though Gronk was held to a mere two receptions for 27 yards, the excessive coverage delegated to him helped to free up WR Aaron Dobson (4 catches for 60 yards, and a TD). No one else did much of anything. For the second week in a row, Kembrell Thompkins was the Invisible Man...and Danny Amendola continues to make us pine over the loss of Wes Welker: GRADE: D+;

    II. DEFENSE: After being pushed around via the Miami ground game in the first half, this crew stiffened considerably, forced three turnovers (a sack-fumble and two interceptions), and shut the Dolphins out in the second half.

    1.) DL: After allowing Miami RBs Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas to combine for 136 yards on 27 carries (the majority of yards being gained in the first half), the DL, with the assistance of ILBs Dont'a Hightower and Brandon Spikes, were able to shut the run down, until the offense scored enough points to force the 'Fins into passing on nearly every play. The Jones Boys had 13 tackles, including seven solos...with Chris Jones registering a sack and a pair of TFLs. Rob Ninkovich was disruptive, registering a sack, a huge fumble recovery after the Logan Ryan third quarter strip sack (discussed more thoroughly below)...along with a trio of QB hits: GRADE: B-;

    2.) LBs: ILBs Dont'a Hightower and Brandon Spikes combined for 19 tackles (9 solos), a sack, and three TFL. Dane Fletcher added a sack, and was effective in pass coverage. Constant blitzing in the second half clearly rattled Miami QB Ryan Tannehill. Rookie Jamie Collins was awful, and was pulled in the second half: GRADE: B;

    3.) SECONDARY: Despite being Talib-less again, this unit had one of it's best games of the season. It was the beneficiary of a steady diet of second half blitzes, one in which rookie CB Logan Ryan came through with a strip sack, which lead to a game tying TD. For the game, Ryan amassed five tackles (all solos), and a pair of sacks. Credit safety Devin McCourty for his heady play in batting a errant Tannehill pass that was headed out of bounds to CB Marquise Coles in the 4th quarter...which lead to the Patriots marching down field for a TD, and a 27-17 lead. For the game, the Pats held Miami to a mere 192 yards passing...and got back 47 of those thanks to six (6) sacks: GRADE: A;

    III. SPECIAL TEAMS: The Ghost was special once more, nailing two more FGs, including a 48 yarder. Good job once again on kick-offs as well. Credit Chandler Jones for a 4th quarter blocked FG, that kept the game a two score game...and all but ended Miami's chances of winning. Ryan Allen continues to do a solid job of punting. The kick return game was not a factor for either team: GRADE: A;

    IV. COAHING: After that lathargic first half, credit BB for some locker room butt kicking, and for some key adjustments. Chief among these was the decision to blitz Ryan Tannehill repeatedly...which resulted in six (6) sacks and two key turnovers. On offense, the decision to accent the running game paid off, particularly in the 4th quarter. But something was obviously wrong with Tom Brady's passing hand, that no adjustment could fix: GRADE: B+;

    V. PLAY OF THE GAME: This game turned on the Logan Ryan strip sack in the third quarter.

    VI. PLAYER OF THE GAME: CB Logan Ryan.

         Here are the game stats: http://espn.go.com/nfl/boxscore?gameId=331027017  

         As always, your comments and opinions are welcome. Have a great day!

         GO SOX!!!! 

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from RSPCB73. Show RSPCB73's posts

    Re: Dolphins @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    TexasPat, better late than never.  I look forward to your insightful analysis after every game.  You grades and supporting arguments are so much better than the Globe scribes.

    After the Pittsburgh game, Pats have a bye.  Hopefully, this will give TB12's aches, pains, bruises, swellings, etc. enough time to heal so that he comes back well enough to power the offense with greater efficiency.  If Pats have a sizable enough lead in the Steelers game, I'd be incline to sub in Mallett, and take TB12 out of harm's way just before the bye.

    2013 World Series Champs, 2014 Super Bowl Champs???!!!

     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from Uncle Rico. Show Uncle Rico's posts

    Re: Dolphins @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    Always a good read, glad you were able to get this posted.  You were spot on with every grade for every position.  Well done.

     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from darwk. Show darwk's posts

    Re: Dolphins @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    Tex- Larry L. should clean up this board soon and make it user friendly- slightly distracted right now! Good  reading your assessment. Agree with your grades. Though I still think McD drags down the coaching staff as a whole. I would give him a C at best.

    Good win for the Pats and great to see them get their mojo back in the second half. Finally able to move the ball in the 3rd quarter.

    I think TB has injured his hand. He can claim it's "perfect"- as is swells up to the size of an elephant trunk all he wants. I'll believe my eyes.  Sure he's trying to just make it to the bye week- and certainly hope he's not dealing with a fracture.

    This season has been the worse for key player injuries- Vollmer injury was nasty- and another top player goes ot for the season. I hope he's on his way to healing. Can still hear his scream.

    I give this team credit for being such scrappers this season. Though it can be maddening to watch them struggle at times- they are finding ways to win - and executing some sensational plays- like the McCourty- Cole Int. Wow.

    Looking forward to Sunday and tonight! GO SOX!

     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from TripleOG. Show TripleOG's posts

    Re: Dolphins @ Patriots REPORT CARD


    Not much to add today Tex. Thats a pretty good report. For the record I heard the Brady injury was a broken nuckle on his throwing hand>>Ouch!  Good News is he sais its not gonna keep him out. Lets hope he heals up during the bye week. I like how Cannon stepped in and didnt ruin it. He may be ok out there but his run blocking is meh and thought that was his strenght.

    ALL in all a great game that wasnt looking good at all. All I will say about the Brady pic is that yes, it was to wrong shoulder but Gronk was also already in position to turn and run instead of attacking the ball. The throw was a little off but catchable if Gronk holds his ground and doesnt try to run before he secures it. Gronk is rusty. No way around it. Brady needs to watch throwing to him in coverage until he gets up to speed.

    I loved the changeup with the blitzing in the 2nd half. Should be able to harass Big Ben as well, their line is not good.

     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from SLGDEV. Show SLGDEV's posts

    Re: Dolphins @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    No way to compare this board to the one for Obamacare.  The Globe didn't spend $500,000,000 on it.  (I could have done the Obamacare board for the extremely bloated figure of $5,000,000, probably only a fraction of that).

    You were too generous with Brady.  I would give him a D+ at best.  More like a D.  The comeback win was not a "Brady" comeback.  It was a team comeback -- especially thje D.

    That INT by McCourtey/Cole was amazing.

    All in all, a gritty win.

     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from stan17. Show stan17's posts

    Re: Dolphins @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    Good analysis TP, can't disagree w/ any of your grades.

     
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  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from trouts. Show trouts's posts

    Re: Dolphins @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    TPat, I thought the OL stunk in the 1st half----we couldn't run and the pass protection for Brady was awful. But the DL was worse the entire game----again no pressure from the front 4 and they got gashed for over 5 yards per carry. Often it seemed as though 1st down carries went for 8 or 9 yards with the guys from the secondary making tackles. Only the 2nd half blitzing off the corner and from the LBs saved the day for the Pats. I would have given the DLine a D- overall.

    As for the coaching, BB didn't have this team ready and they behind 17-3. Ridley was held for some inexplicable reason with the result being too many 3 & outs. The second half adjustments, especially the blitzing totally changed the game around. For the entire game my grading would be a "C". When the playoffs come hopefully we won't fall behind 17-3 at home because I remember Baltimore jumping on us like that at Gillette and we couldn't come back.

    Glad to see the comment about Fletcher. I think he's smart, pretty fast, and can play coverage better than any of our other LBs. If he stays healthy he'll be a huge plus for this team.

     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from seawolfxs. Show seawolfxs's posts

    Re: Dolphins @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    Not being able to see the game kind of hard for me to question, but it sounds right

    I also find it really hard to grade this team

    After the first two Mia scoring drives the D gets an A across the board. Who would have ever believed that our DBS are a great strength? 

    Our O is still an enigma but they make clutch plays, we are still waiting for the potential

    Our STs ,  save KO returns, is very strong

    Have never wanted to get to the bye more and see how BB has put this team together foy the stretch drive 

    PS I have real problems posting too, unless I am on my ipad

     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from TexasPat. Show TexasPat's posts

    Re: Dolphins @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    In response to TripleOG's comment:
    [QUOTE]


    Not much to add today Tex. Thats a pretty good report. For the record I heard the Brady injury was a broken nuckle on his throwing hand>>Ouch!

    RESPONSE: Where did you hear that Brady is playing with a broken knuckle? The way his hand is swollen, that wouldn't surprise me. When are these injuries ever going to end? 

      Good News is he sais its not gonna keep him out. Lets hope he heals up during the bye week. I like how Cannon stepped in and didnt ruin it. He may be ok out there but his run blocking is meh and thought that was his strenght.

    RESPONSE: Cannon should be an adequate replacement.

    ALL in all a great game that wasnt looking good at all. All I will say about the Brady pic is that yes, it was to wrong shoulder but Gronk was also already in position to turn and run instead of attacking the ball. The throw was a little off but catchable if Gronk holds his ground and doesnt try to run before he secures it. Gronk is rusty. No way around it. Brady needs to watch throwing to him in coverage until he gets up to speed.

    RESPONSE: Can't agree with you here. That pass was poorly thrown...as it gave the DB an opportunity to make a play on the ball...which he did. Had the ball been thrown to Gronk's outside shoulder, it's either a catch, or an incompletion.

    I loved the changeup with the blitzing in the 2nd half. Should be able to harass Big Ben as well, their line is not good.

    RESPONSE: The 'Fins ran a play on a 3rd and 23...a flanker screen to Mike Wallace, that went for 25 yards. The Steelers have a better QB and better overall talent and speed at the WR position, than Miami. Watch for them to attack the Pats with WR screens, slants, and the occasional deep post. 

    [/QUOTE]


     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from TexasPat. Show TexasPat's posts

    Re: Dolphins @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    In response to Uncle Rico's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    Always a good read, glad you were able to get this posted.  You were spot on with every grade for every position.  Well done.

    [/QUOTE]

         Thanks! Hopefully, we'll all have lots to celebrate tonight, with a Red Sox win!!!!!

     

     

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